Vecherniaya Moskva
July 19, 2006
Maria Dolgounova


Every ballet troupe has their masterpieces. But it's not so often that an opportunity presents itself to see the most vivid productions of classical ballet day after day, over the course of two months on one stage. "Summer Ballet Seasons", organized by the agency ConsArta, has already given us this opportunity five years in a row, and made itself one of the hallmarks of summer Moscow.

Traditionally, "Summer Ballet Seasons" runs from the beginning of July to the end of August in the very heart of Moscow on the stage of the Russian Academic Youth Theatre, where during the end of the nineteenth century (then it was the Imperial New Theatre) the young artists of the Bolshoi and Maly Theatres presented their art. One could say that "Summer Ballet Seasons" has revived this tradition. Talented dancers from 18 to 25 years of age form the basis for the two troupes- The Russian National Ballet Theatre and the Theatre of Classical Ballet Smirnov-Golovanov.

In spite of their youth, many of them are already considered legitimate stars. The troupes still retain their close ties with the Bolshoi, seeing as both directors (Vladimir Moiseev, grandson of the legendary Igor Moiseev, and Victor Smirnov-Golovanov) served for many years as soloists in Russia's most celebrated theatre. For a great majority of the year, the artistry of both troupes is bestowed mainly on foreign audiences: a performance in their native Russia is a rarity indeed. This year, Russian audiences will be able to see all the best-known classical ballets: The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Giselle, and Romeo and Juliet. What's more, they will recreate the most celebrated productions of the legendary choreographers Petipa, Vainonen, Messerer.

It's not the first time that the Russian National Ballet Theatre has participated in "Summer Ballet Seasons". The grandiose decorations, music and dance all converging together combined with the youth and elegance of the dancers leaves behind a wonderful impression. Natalya Kyngurtzeva is elegant as Odette/Odille, Valerii Shumilov is imposing as the Prince, and Nadezhda Ivanova is both touching as Masha in The Nutcracker, and mischievous as Kitri in Don Quixote. All of this forces one to forget about the city bustle, one's daily cares, and the summers" merciless heat.

The orchestra also deserves to be mentioned-the two young conductors; Aleksei Osetrov and Konstantin Khvatinetz (both ex-students of Gennadii Rozhdestvenski) are certainly among the great finds of "Summer Ballet Seasons". Gennadii Nikolaevich himself was noticed in the audience.

In the theatre, there were parents introducing their children to the great tradition of ballet, dance fanatics, admiring tourists. The curtain came down; the show had come to an end. The happily smiling audience streamed out of the theatre, stopping in front of the posters and flipping through the repertoire, asking themselves: what show to see next?